A few days ago, we reported on news that 24 cities in California were suing the state over marijuana delivery. Now we are learning that the bill was sidelined for the year amid concerns that doing so would further hamper California’s lagging market for cannabis.
The action comes just days after 24 cities such as Beverly Hills, Riverside and Covina filed a lawsuit against the state, requesting the courts to invalidate a California regulation set up earlier this year that allows home pot delivery, such as in cities that prohibit marijuana shops.
Related: California Cities Sue Over Pot Delivery
Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) will determine later whether to revive his proposal following year,” he said Wednesday, a day after the Assembly Business and Professions Committee deadlocked on the bill using a 7-7 vote and it failed to pass.
“I actually think they are wrong on the policy,” Cooley said of coworkers who voted against his bill abstained.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) was one of those who voted against the bill, noting that few cities, such as his hometown, allow retail sales.
“But all around us are such deserts of people who can not gain access,” McCarty said. “For men and women who are driving… 50, 60, 100 miles to move in their residence to Sacramento [to buy cannabis], it simply doesn’t seem reasonable.”
Cooley sought to win over skeptics on the invoice by including enforcement licenses for towns that allow retail shops.
He said voters were told local control would be maintained when they approved Proposition 64, the 2016 ballot step that permitted state licensing of cannabis farms and stores.
“Proponents said it would protect local authority,” Cooley told the committee. “I’m still a proponent of local control. It reflects an interest in quality of life locally.”
The bill was also supported by the League of California Cities, said lobbyist Charles Harvey.
Harvey explained the decision by the Bureau of Cannabis Control to allow home deliveries in every city will interfere with law enforcement and allow the illicit pot market to thrive.
“The law at issue efficiently stripped local decision-making away from local authorities and acts as a clear overreach from the BCC,” he told the committee.
A report by the committee personnel cited that the cities’ pending lawsuit as a single motive lawmakers should refrain from acting on the legislation, saying it may be premature to approve a bill “until a settlement has occurred in that lawsuit.”
A hearing date hasn’t yet been set on the suit.
Meanwhile, the Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill that would require cities to license pot shops if more than 50% of the town’s voters approved Proposition 64. The city would have to issue licenses equal to 25% of their alcohol sales permits in town.
Cities that object to the minimum number of permits would have to submit an alternative to the town’s voters.
The bill, according to Ting’s office, “intends to expand access to cannabis for people in need, increase state/local earnings for general services, and make sure a controlled cannabis market can triumph.”